Virat Kohli’s recent dismissal by New Zealand leg spinner Ish Sodhi in the first ODI brought up a conversation around Kuldeep Yadav’s bowling style in the commentary box. The Indian skipper, who has had a lukewarm series against New Zealand so far, chose to play it safe and initially got into his groove after walking out to bat.
Slowly, Kohli found his rhythm, along with a trusted ally at the other end of the crease in the form of Shreyas Iyer. He reached his half-century and just when Kohli and all the spectators watching thought that he would be able to recreate his magic and get to triple digits, he faced Ish Sodhi, one of the better performers for New Zealand.
The first three balls of the over were leg-breakers, which were shunted to the off-side. Sodhi’s fourth ball was a googly, which visibly changed Kohli’s batting technique. The skipper came forward and attempted to pass off the ball to the third man with the face of his bat pointing upwards. However, Kohli misinterpreted the delivery, which spun and hit the stumps.
Commentators on the Hindi broadcast had a field day discussing Kohli’s weakness against leg-spinners. Ex-cricketers Sunil Gavaskar and VVS Laxman claimed that Sodhi had bowled with a different delivery technique. Gavaskar expressed his surprise at the distance between Kohli’s bat and pad and was heard asking Laxman if today’s cricketers judge the spinner’s actions from the pitch instead of focusing on their hand and wrist movements. The commentators then shifted to talking about Kuldeep Yadav’s style of delivery. The Indian leg-spinner is so hard to read because his wrist actions are the same, regardless of the delivery he is about to throw.
Later, the host channel Star showed an image of Kohli being instructed by head coach Ravi Shastri and batting coach Vikram Rathour about the delivery and the skipper’s reaction to it after his dismissal.